EDITOR’S NOTE: In honor of National Bike To Work Week on May 16-20, we will be running a series of features of bike commuters who work at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Southcentral Foundation and Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in Sitka. Thank you to Laura Kotelman of Southcentral Foundation for supplying the four Anchorage profiles and SEARHC for the Sitka profile (note, all profiles appeared previously in newsletters for the various organizations).
By Janice Swier
Timothy Thomas, CDC medical epidemiologist of the Arctic Investigations Program, doesn’t like the idea of Bike to Work Day being a one-day event. Instead, Thomas chooses to celebrate ‘Bike to Work Day’ year round by biking to work several days a week.
Thomas says that he enjoys biking; it gets him outside where he gets to face whatever the elements choose to toss his way. When Thomas left Alaska to work in Kenya he brought his biking spirit with him. Kenya gets some very dramatic rainstorms with lots of lightning and thunder, “getting home through one of those was always fun,” Thomas stated emphatically.
The elements aren’t the only thing Thomas enjoys about biking, he likes the activity. “Much of my work involves sitting at a desk and looking at a computer screen. Then, after work, I’m running my kids from one thing to another, so having the chance to incorporate getting exercise with getting to work, kills two birds with one stone,” Thomas explains.
Thomas doesn’t like how we as a society have created a separate category for exercise. He thinks that exercise should be incorporated into our daily routine in a more natural way, like by biking to work.
“It’s always nice to get out, get fresh air and clear my head,” Thomas says of his many weekly bike rides.
He explains that he would bike to work every day if it weren’t for meetings across town or having to drop the kids off at school. He does, however, make up for lost biking time by occasionally biking or walking to get other places around town and by doing recreational biking with his family.
Thomas is disappointed that he will be out of town on May 20 and won’t be able to participate in Bike to Work Day. He will, however, be celebrating ‘Bike to Work Day’ many other days throughout the year.